Discussion in 'A Matter Of Life And Death' started by Anonymous, Aug 30, 2006.
Man, I seem to have a huge memory gap there. A really dreadful video,ain't it??
Well, it hasn't made it into the Best Music Video Survivor, I'll give you that.
I guess you're right. World has a better solo.
I guess it is the same Universe where TXF is the best Maiden album. To be honest the solo is quite good,I give you that.
Quote every word.
So I'm going to slowly go through these, instead of trying to get them done as quickly as possible. For the last three albums I'll just go along with the survivor.
This is a cool underrated opener. It feels a lot like Wildest Dreams but is superior in every way. Better riff, better lyrics, better Bruce performance, and a top rate Adrian solo. It works well as an intro to the whole album without being all that representative of the sound overall. It's like they were saying, "here's your 80s style rocker, now get ready for something deeper".
One of my favourite short Maiden songs. The true son of Rainmaker. H's solo is not only one of his best solos, but one of the best Maiden solos, full stop. And that's coming from me, the Janickist. A 9 so strong it's almost a 10.
Also, I don't see any resemblance with the half-assed, melodyless WD - except maybe "short Maiden reunion opener".
People keep telling me this song is better than I think it is. 6/10.
It's a bit in the same mould as Wildest Dreams I suppose. Slightly ordinary opener. It is a bit of a grower though and the poppy chorus is ok. I like Adrian's short solo and I like the theme of the song, perception and feeling out of place.
Quite good, but the album doesn't really start until the next song.
Oddly enough, the weakest track on the album is the opener. Different World is engaging, typical Maiden with a cool verse, guitar unison and great Adrian solo, but it ultimately feels like a retread of Wildest Dreams. Clearly a song written for the sole purpose of releasing a proper single as it shares virtually nothing in common with the sound or theme of the rest of the album. There’s nothing wrong with Different World, but it’s paint-by-numbers Maiden.
Such a fast, strong track, shorter than I believe every other song on the album, yet personally I find it one of the most enjoyable. Surprised everyone else doesn't seem to care much for it. 9/10.
"Different World" is the only track on A Matter of Life and Death which screams "SINGLE", and that is something pretty rare for Maiden—all previous albums had at least two. On an album filled with long, extended epics (except for two or three tracks), it's pretty impressive for a simple and short little rocker like this to be able to hold itself up. While not among the best cuts from the album (in fact, I think it might be the weakest), it's a fun and really great song, with quite uplifting lyrics and a very strong musical delivery (H's solo is a highlight). Great opening to an outstanding record! A solid 8.
So I've already touched upon a lot of this stuff in my post on The Legacy, so at the risk of repeating myself, allow me to tackle this hugely underrated rocker.
Different World - and actually, A Matter of Life and Death - opens with an "Aiyee!" from Nicko, and then bounds right into an upbeat, fast-paced rocker of an album opener. At first glace, this song is basically Wildest Dreams, Pt. II - now expanded into a better song with a bit more meaning! My guess is that this is the reason Different World hasn't gotten a lot of fans compared to the songs to come on this album. But really, this is so, so, so much more than that. Wildest Dreams, while it's good, is little more than an "y'know what? I've gotten my life on track and I'm finally doing what I love and I'm on my way! Yay!" Now I admit, there are some similarities in DW, but those similarities are actually quite small.
Let's go through the lyrics and actually talk about them. You lead me on the path, keep showing me the way. I surmise that this is about someone who has believed in God or something to that extent, been told throughout his life that God was the answer and all you need is to trust in Him and He'll guide your path. However: I feel a little lost, a little strange today. Obviously, our narrator is having some doubts about God's existence and how his life is really meant to be, or if he really likes where his life is going. But: I think I'll take a hold of whatever comes my way; then we'll see what happens, take it day-by-day. He decides that he really doesn't have any answers about life or God or anything like that, so he's just gonna play it safe - go with the flow - take whatever comes his way.
The doubts still persist, however, and he can't let go of them. I thought I had it all, I had it all worked out - of what the future held, that there would be no doubt. Again, his whole life he's been putting a blind trust in God and only now is he questioning the things he was told and what he thought he believed. But then the card came up, and I took another turn. Our narrator has seen something, or experienced something... something has changed his perspective on life, reality, and God. Given the chorus, I assume it's people and those in power and things to that extent, and what they've done with said power - caused war, inflicted corruption, channeled their greed - and now there's no turning back. Or it could also be that maybe he lost his job, though I think our narrator is someone who's always been complacent, a yes man, someone who won't get the rug pulled out from under him but isn't exactly someone who will move up in the ranks - in other words, he's never really questioned his life until now. And now, of course, he has. The card came up - he took another turn - the rug really was pulled out from under him. Maybe he was in a traumatic experience and nearly died... it's pure speculations, really. But something's has opened his eyes and now he sees the reality. But I don't know if it's fulfillment that I yearn. He really doesn't know what to do with his life - keep going as he's done for years and years, or be somebody - not a yes man, but a human being, with a brain, not a robot, but someone who can think for himself.
Our narrator is, however, hopeful. His experience has given him a new perspective on life, hence, he calls out to all of us: Tell me what you can hear, and then tell me what you see - everybody has a different way to view the world. We all like different things in life - I like metal, many others do not; I dislike potatoes, many others love them - little things. And of course there are the big ones - which side you're on politically, stuff like that. The things that truly divide us. One need only look at Facebook to find out how divisive politics can be - and don't forget about the most controversial topic since the history of the world - do you believe in this man in the sky who will damn you to hell if you don't follow his rules, or do you believe in this man in the sky who will damn you to hell if you don't follow his rules? The chorus is begging us to just give it up - no one will change their opinions, no one will change their viewpoints, so why not work together, shake hands, and move on? Is it too hard to do?
Our narrator finally realizes - Don't wanna be here; somewhere I'd rather be. He wants to take hold of his life and actually do something with it - change the world perhaps, step out of his comfort zone and help others, make himself not just another face in a crowded sea, not another brick in the wall, but somebody who's actually doing something to benefit humanity. That said: But when I get there I might find it's not for me. He realizes that this would mean throwing the towel on his life and really changing everything - and once the change has taken place, what if he finds out it's not what he expected? He doesn't like it? It's not for him? Can he go back?
After repeating this, we return for the final lines: Don't know what I want, or where I want to be... feeling more confused, the more the days go by.... Our narrator just can't anymore. His mind, the world, everything around him - he just doesn't know. What to do, how to do it - it's all just too confusing for him. And so we leave him there - will he figure it out, or will he not?
Or... do we actually leave him there? Can it be that AMOLAD is actually a concept album about someone who's finally questioning life and trying to figure it all out? I actually wouldn't be too surprised to find out it is, and Different World merely sets up his viewpoint and what has caused him to try to figure it out. Let's go through the rest of the tracks and talk briefly about how they fit into the narrative:
These Colours Don't Run is the first song to tackle war - namely, those that go off the fight may never come back, but they believe they're doing it for all the right reasons - they won't run when it comes their turn to die.
Brighter Than A Thousand Suns is about the atomic bomb, and how such a magnificent creation would help bring about peace.... not. The atomic bomb was just another tool used by many to "wipe out evil" by inflicting evil, and further proof of how far away we are from verses like "turn the other cheek" and "love thy neighbor as thyself".
The Pilgrim... it's... kind of an odd track out. The closest I can bring it to fitting the narrative is that our narrator is becoming a pilgrim, going to places and asking questions he never has before and seeking out new worlds or viewpoints... it's definitely the weakest song on the album and feels quite out of place among the others.
The Longest Day is about D-Day and how, while it was an important battle in world history, it also came at a price and many men were sent to hell just to succeed in the operation.
Out of the Shadows is about how we're born into a world where there's a lot of anguish and hatred but we're blinded to it until we're suddenly cast forth and need to think for ourselves. I'm also going to bring up another issue really quick - abortion. I'm keeping my thoughts on it to myself because really, I've no say in the matter given it's physically impossible for me to ever need / think about doing it. But anyways - people against abortion are that it's evil and a fetus is a human being, but once the baby is born no one gives a damn. They just cast you out into the world and if you live or die, it's no skin off their back. Hence there's a double-standard here, and I think this is what Out of the Shadows is talking about.
The Reincarnation of Benjamin Breeg is about someone who's been to a metaphorical hell and is now trying to exorcise the demons that have possessed him. Perhaps a survivor of war, or maybe or narrator picks up again from Different World - exorcising his demons is basically him singing this album. Trying to figure out... why?
For the Greater Good of God is, of course, an epic about religion and how something that allegedly attempts to right wrongs and bring about peace can be used by evil people as an excuse to be evil and push their evil on the rest of us. While I'm not a big fan of the repetition, it makes sense in this song because or narrator has reached a point of utter confusing - something intended for good used as such evil has made his mind snap and he's now trying to figure out what life really is.
Lord of Light comes at a point where one of two things could be happening - either our narrator has finally said "fuck it" and crossed over to the dark side because "everyone else is doing it, I might as well join in and look out for myself", or, the more likely explanation, given we still have one song left, is that the narrator realizes that everyone has joined Satan's cause and is doing his bidding now, hence the evil in this world. Whether he actually believes in a Lord of Light is up for the listener's interpretation.
And finally, The Legacy. I already wrote up an in-depth thing about this, but in short - the narrator is attacking those in power in the first part and how they've completely fucked everything and everyone up, and in the second part returns to where he started in Different World - asking why we can not just shake hands, agree to disagree, and move on. It ends on a bleak note when he realizes that unless something truly drastic happens, the world is never going to change...
So basically, Different World is a lot better than it's gotten credit for. It might be stylistically different from the rest of the album, but it sets it all off quite well. I first appreciated this musically, but I've come to really love it lyrically as well. It's cliched, I know, given that most high-schoolers complain about it, but I have moments of depression and thus songs like Different World, The Legacy, Infinite Dreams, and the like really speak to me. I've grown up in a Christian home and only relatively recently have I started thinking for myself - and I still have my doubts over what path I'm taking and where my life is headed - hence songs that are similar to what I feel become some of my favorites.
As for Nicko's "Aiyee!" at the beginning and it's similarities to Wildest Dream's opening... I think both are there for a reason. Dance of Death, out of all of Maiden's albums, feels like a bunch of different songs thrown together to make one album. Which it's a good album, but it doesn't feel as much of an album as Maiden's others - more a collection of songs. Hence the "1... 2... 3..." opening fits that album. The "Aiyee!" of AMOLAD fits this album because it puts everything in perspective - this isn't someone who's actually been and seen and gone to hell, they're just a band trying to assess and describe the things you'd find in there. And they might get it wrong. But they're gonna try real hard with it. And of course, the entire album was done live and many songs are only in one take - but y'know. Maybe I'm looking into this too much.
In short, Different World, after The Legacy, is AMOLAD's finest offering, and it's a highly underrated song. It might seem like just another rocker, but there's so much more to be unpacked in here that such a description is ill-befitting.
When it comes to four minute songs, Different World is a masterpiece.
For an opener i feel they could've done better. 7/10
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